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photo: presidenri.go.id

Indonesian Cabinet reshuffles to strengthen country’s economy

Indonesia - President Joko Widodo has named a new Cabinet, aiming to strengthen Indonesia's economy in order to address global economic challenges.

Speaking at a press conference at the State Palace on Wednesday, President Jokowi pointed out challenges such as poverty, economic inequality and regional quality, stressing that measures to address these issues needed to be stepped up.

Only fast actions and decisions will work to triumph amid tight competition and changes in the global economic growth, he said.

"With those reasons in mind, I and the Vice-President have decided to reshuffle the Cabinet."

"I always want to to work optimally so that my Cabinet is able to work faster, more efficiently, more solidly and more supportively, allowing us real results," Jokowi said, accompanied by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

In the reshuffle, four existing ministers have been transferred to new posts and nine new faces have been appointed, largely to economics-related positions.

The new ministers will be inaugurated at 1:30 p.m. at the State Palace on Wednesday, and afterwards will join Jokowi and Kalla for a plenary Cabinet meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. to discuss the 2017 State Budget (RAPBN) draft.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced the composition of his new Cabinet afterward.

  • Luhut Pandjaitan becomes Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister
  • Bambang Brodjonegoro becomes the head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas)
  • Sofyan Djalil becomes Agrarian and Apatial Planning Minister
  • Thomas Trikasih Lembong becomes head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM)
  • Wiranto becomes Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister
  • Sri Mulyani becomes Finance Minister
  • Eko Putro Sandjoyo becomes Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister
  • Budi Karya Sumadi becomes Transportation Minister
  • Muhajir becomes Culture and Education Minister
  • Enggartiasto Lukita becomes Trade Minister
  • Airlangga Hartarto becomes Industry Minister
  • Archandra Tahar becomes Energy and Mineral Resources Minister
  • Asman Abnur becomes Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister

The first mentioned was the appointment of Dr Sri Mulyani, whom Forbes magazine ranked 37th in its annual list of 100 most powerful women of 2016, which features upcoming industry leaders in the field of business, entrepreneurship, investing, science and philanthrophy.

Many observers were surprised that Mr Luhut was moved out of the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, although some analyst believe it was part of the president's strategy to push forward his maritime master plan.

Observers said the Cabinet shake-up reflects Mr Jokowi's consolidation of power after he secured the support of Golkar and an intra-movement of ministers to drive his policy agenda for the rest of his term.